Training workers at risk for occupational contact dermatitis in the application of protective creams: efficacy of a fluorescence technique

Dermatology. 1997;195(2):129-33. doi: 10.1159/000245714.


Background: In spite of promising experimental data demonstrating the efficacy of protective creams (PC), their practical value is still viewed with scepticism. Lack of protection could be caused simply by uneven or spotty application of these products. How precisely workers apply PC at the workplace can be monitored and quantified by a recently developed fluorescence technique.

Objective: The goal of the present study was to use this technique to teach workers in high-risk occupations the proper use of PCs and to compare the benefit of this method with the use of an instructive videotape.

Methods: Fifty healthy metal workers were recruited to self-apply a fluorescent preparation 6 weeks after being taught either by a fluorescence test or by a 20-min videotape. The application was evaluated under Wood's light examination.

Results: The performance of the fluorescence group had improved significantly over the initial test (p < 0.001) and was significantly better than that of the videotape group (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Our results indicate that this method may become a useful adjunct to improve the daily application of PC as a preventive measure.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Fingers / anatomy & histology
  • Fluorescence*
  • Hand / anatomy & histology
  • Hand Dermatoses / prevention & control*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metallurgy
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Care
  • Video Recording


  • Dermatologic Agents